The Perimeter Isn't Secure, Encrypt your Data


Protecting your network and sensitive data isn't easy. Network administrators use many technologies and techniques to ensure that basic security controls are in place:
  • Install and maintain firewalls at your perimeter as well as connections to un-trusted network segments.
  • Follow procedures to harden your servers, workstations, and network components.
  • Ensure updated anti-malware and anti-virus systems are in place, protecting both workstations and servers.
  • Training procedures provide annual security training for your staff as well as regular security reminders.
  • Formal patch management processes ensure servers, workstations, firewalls, etc. are patched and updated on a regular basis.
  • Access controls restrict access to only the minimum amount of information necessary for the individual to perform their duties. Passwords are changed on a regular basis and users are logged out after a period of inactivity.
  • Controls over third party service providers are implemented and reviewed on a regular basis.
  • A risk assessment and risk analysis is performed on an annual basis.
  • Annual security audits evaluate administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to ensure they are sufficient and effective.

Hackers and unauthorized intruders use creative ways to by-pass security systems and gain access to data. Even with all of the appropriate controls in place your organization may still be at risk of a security breach. Leading organizations use encryption to help protect sensitive data from unauthorized access and disclosure. Encrypting data may cause some small response time delays. In many cases, however, the impact of a hacker gaining access to sensitive data far outweighs most encryption-related performance issues.

Altius IT recommends the following encryption-related steps be taken to protect your data:

  • Identify sensitive data. Include customer data as well as intellectual property (e.g. custom software code, proprietary information), system log files, and other important information.
  • Prepare flowcharts and data flow diagrams that identify data sources, transmission of data, data storage, data backups and archiving, and disposal of data.
  • Ensure security controls are implemented to protect the data.
  • Encrypt your data using strong encryption.
  • Protect your encryption keys so they can't be obtained by unauthorized parties.

In addition to protecting information from unauthorized access, using encryption may exempt your organization from various state and federal data breach notification laws.  Network security audits help ensure sensitive data is encrypted.


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Tags: data breach | data encryption | breach notification | database encryption | data security

 


Certified Auditors

Certified Information Systems Auditors
Altius IT's auditors are board certified to audit your systems and issue reports and opinions on your security. We help you identify, manage, and reduce your risks. Our comprehensive audit service uncovers gaps in your existing defenses so that you can better:

  • Fortify your network infrastructure
  • Comply with regulatory requirements
  • Protect your valuable assets

For a full list of our certifications please visit our About Us page.